The origins of TANSTAAFL

by on May 2, 2004 at 8:01 am in Economics | Permalink

“There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.” I used to think that originated with Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Many others credit Milton Friedman. But read the real story. A San Francisco newspaper is the earliest known source. And Professor Alvin Hansen, preceding Friedman, wrote of TINSTAAFL, which is simply TANSTAAFL with better grammar.

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